ENGL 097 English Express (Moore)

For students in Julie Moore's English 97

Get Ready to Research


Keywords are the words you use to search in library databases and online.

Keywords capture what you want to learn about. For example, if I want to learn about different cultural attitudes about failure, I could try the keywords:

  • cultural attitudes AND failure
  • (a country) AND attitudes AND failure
  • failure AND learning 
  • cultual values AND education
  • philosophy of education

How to Find Keywords

Step 1: Start by brainstorming keywords. What is your topic? What do you want to learn? 

As you begin your research, add important or interesting words to your list. Pay attention to words that capture Who, What, When, Where, Why, How aspects of your topic. Pay attention to synonyms and words that capture similar or related ideas.

Step 2: Look for keywords as you begin to read and learn.

You will use reference to get informed, but when you are getting started, reference articles are also a useful source of keywords! Articles from Gale eBooks or CQ Researcher, for example, provide key names, issues, concepts, terminology, and more. See the example below from an article in Gale eBooks found with the keywords: Japan AND education.

(click on image to enlarge)

keywords highlighted from an article on education in Japan

Video on how to use keywords effectively in a database

Think about the words you will try for your topic.

Search is Strategic!

Different info is created for different purposes and audiences.

When you research consider the following as you search for useful sources of information:

  • What kind of information type it is
  • Who the intended audience is
  • What the purpose of the info is
  • What kinds of evidence it provides
  • What point of view it presents

Source Types to Consider

Reference Sources: academic encyclopedias, handbooks, guides
  • General overviews and introductory info
  • Key concepts, stakeholders, and issues
  • Background on history, law, and other contexts
  • Terminology
  • Further Reading recommendations
Journalism/ News Media: print & online newspapers, magazines, radio and television news
  • Informational reporting on current issues
  • Analysis of current issues
  • Opinion in the op-ed sections
  • Trade or Professional magazines provide research briefs, news in the field, and other relevant updates
Book Chapters: print & ebooks

Books may do/ be anything, including:

  • Collection of essays addressing issues
  • Research
  • Case study
  • History
Government Websites
  • Data
  • Official Policy
  • Resources
Scholarly Research & Analysis
  • In-depth analysis
  • Research and data
  • Theory
  • International perspectives


Your Research Seminars & Writing Assignments

Cultural Impacts on Education & Learning

Sample Research Topic Starting Places
  • education AND culture
  • cultural values AND education
  • philosphy of education
  • education in (a country)
  • secondary education AND (a country)
  • higher education AND (a country)
  • learning AND culture
  • women AND education AND (a country)
  • gender AND learning styles
  • learning AND immigration
  • indigenous knowledge
  • culture AND values AND failure
  • education AND learning from failure
  • mindset AND learning
  • growth mindset
  • fixed mindset AND learning
  • globalization AND education
  • confucian education
  • diversity AND education
  • inclusive education
  • ELL AND learning
  • war AND children AND learning OR education
  • Dewey AND education
  • Ghandi AND education
  • colonialism AND education
  • imperialism AND education
  • project-based learning
  • experiental learning
  • individualism AND American education
  • community AND education